Areas Of Specialty / Autoimmune Conditions

The Functional Osteopath

Autoimmune Conditions

An autoimmune condition is one in which your immune system attacks your own tissues because it fails to recognise them as “self”. The immune system launches the attack against self tissues as if they were marked as foreign invaders because of a breakdown in immunologic tolerance to immune cells. The breakdown in immunologic tolerance and resultant autoimmune disorder are strongly associated with genetic, infections and/or environmental predisposing factors along with a breakdown in the integrity of the gut lining.

Autoimmune conditions comprise multiple disorders with symptoms ranging from organ-specific to systemic:

  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Other common health problems that also have implications of autoimmune pathology include arteriosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), certain types of infertility and neurologic disorders.

Our immune system is a complex collection of cellular, chemical and soluble protein components designed to protect the body from foreign substances called antigens. These antigens can range from infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria to any foreign substances like food or pollen and even cancerous tissue. They will evoke a specific immune response from immune cells encapsulated in immune organs such as the spleen and thymus to more diffuse accumulations of immune cells in the gut and skin that monitor the entry of foreign substances.

The immune system functions optimally when the interaction of the immune cells and their products is done in a sequential and regulated manner.  Autoimmune conditions have aberrations not only in the interactions but also the production of various inflammatory mediators such as cytokines that help amplify the response of our innate immunity.

Furthermore, stress and neurohormones that modulate autoimmune responses must also be balanced along with cell-cell and cytokine interactions in order for the immune system to function well.

There is no cure for autoimmunity but it can be managed and put into remission with comprehensive treatment that understands this complex nature of autoimmunity and all of its associations. Get in touch to see how I can help you.